Kenneth E. Reeves was born and brought up in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Harvard College and graduated cum laude at 1972. He was awarded the Michael Clark Rockefeller Fellowship for Travel, and he studied in Benin, West Africa. He also received a fellowship to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the department of Urban Studies and Planning. After Law School, he worked for the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, doing utility, banking, and insurance industry rate regulation. He later served as the managing attorney of the General Motors/United Auto Workers Legal Plan in Massachusetts. He also served as a principal in the Cambridge based law firm of Singleton, Reeves, Bowzer, and Huggins.
Since 1990, Reeves has been elected as a Cambridge City Councillor. He has also served three terms as the Mayor of Cambridge (1992-1993, 1994-1995, 2006-2007) – the first African American Mayor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the first openly black gay mayor in the United States. While mayor, he also served as the chairperson of the Cambridge School Committee. Reeves has long been a champion for working families, civil rights issues, human rights issues, and equality to the citizens of Massachusetts.
Ken Reeves has also been an innovator in crafting social programs that support citizens to achieve a better quality of life. Some of the programs he has initiated are the Cambridge Works jobs assistance program, The Cambridge Kids Council, and the Men’s Health Task Force. In his last term, Ken implemented a Baby College for parents of infants to three years olds, and is now working to create an “Office of College Success” to ensure Cambridge students graduate from college. These two programs are adapted from the work of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone.
The numerous awards and recognition Reeves has received are the following: the NAACP Drum Major for Justice Award, Boy Scouts of America Award, African Methodist Episcopal Church Lifetime Achievement Award, Absalom Jones Award, Click Magazine award, and Massachusetts Black Attorney Award. Langston Hughes, Alain Locke N.Y governor, James Baldwin, Rev. Dennis Willey, Rev. Fred Lucas Founder of the Kumba Singers, Aids in the BEN Community.